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Morales incident harms dialogue with Europe, says Brazilian president

Criado em 04/07/13 10h06 e atualizado em 05/07/13 07h35
Por Luana Lourenço Edição:Carolina Pimentel / Lícia Marques Fonte:Agência Brasil

Brasília – President Dilma Rousseff released a statement on Wednesday (July 3) condemning the incident involving the president of  Bolivia, Evo Morales. Returning from a visit to Russia, the Bolivian leader was forced to make a 13-hour stopover in Vienna, Austria, after Portugal, France, Italy and Spain prohibited his plane from flying through their airspace on suspicion that former CIA [NSA] contractor Edward Snowden might be on board. Snowden is facing charges of treason in the United States for publicly disclosing that US government agencies have been monitoring Internet and telephone data.

In her statement, the Brazilian president called the incident “unacceptable” and “embarrassing”.

“Our government would like to convey our indignation and disapproval of the humiliation imposed on President Evo Morales by some European countries as they prevented his presidential plane from flying through their airspace,” said Dilma's statement.

President Dilma added that the Brazilian government was “surprised and appalled” by what happened, noting that it would negatively affect relations with Europe. “Such a humiliating attitude toward President Morales affects not only Bolivia, but all of Latin America. It harms dialogue and potential negotiations between the two continents. This provocation calls for a prompt explanation and appropriate apologies by the countries involved," she said.

The statement also read, “The alleged pretext for this unacceptable conduct – the suspicion that Edward Snowden was in the president's plane – is fanciful and constitutes a serious violation of international law and practices. [It violates the] rules of civilized relationship between nations. What's even more serious – it put the lives of president Morales and his staff in jeopardy.”

The Brazilian leader promised to “work at all multilateral levels, especially in Latin America, to prevent similar incidents. The Union of South American Nations ("Unasur") has called an extraordinary meeting (on a date to be defined) to discuss the incident. Brazil will send a representative to the meeting," concluded the president.

Early on Wednesday, Brazil's minister of Foreign Relations, Antonio Patriota, called Bolivia's foreign minister, David Choquehuanca, to express solidarity. He called the European countries' attitude “arrogant”.

Bolivia said it is going to denounce Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR). 

Edition: Carolina Pimentel / Lícia Marques
Translation: Mayra Borges / Allen Bennett

Creative Commons - CC BY 3.0

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